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How Accident Insurance Beneficiaries Are Appointed and Changed

One of the common confusions for those who are less familiar with the insurance world revolves around the definitions of policyholder , insured and beneficiary , which we will briefly recall here: the first is who takes out insurance; the second is the person who is insured in the policy – which may or may not coincide with the policyholder – and the third is the person who receives the compensation in the event that something serious happens (serious illness, disability or death). 

This last concept, that of beneficiary, is of great importance in sectors such as deaths, life or accidents , an aspect that concerns us in today’s post. Not surprisingly, it is the person (or persons) who collect the relevant compensation in the event that the insured person suffers a disability or, in the worst case, dies due to an accident.

Today we will delve into this aspect, that of the designation of beneficiaries and the change – if desired – in accident insurance , steps that are simpler than what could be expected at first. Let’s go with it.

Designate beneficiaries is a policyholder’s right

In the first place, we will remember that both powers, that of appointing the beneficiaries and, if applicable, changing them, correspond exclusively to the policyholder. Therefore, he is at all times entitled to revoke the designation, unless for whatever reason he had expressly renounced that power to his insurance company. 

The beneficiary designation is not too complicated in accident insurance . It can be done in the policy itself, stating it in the particular conditions of the contract , although it can also be made effective by any written statement that is communicated to the corresponding insurance company. The last way to make the appointment is by integrating that decision in the will . 

There are two types of designation of beneficiaries: express , in which the insured determines with names and surnames the person -or the persons- who will receive the benefits of the policy; and the tacit one , which by default is given by law, in which no person is named and therefore the stipulated amount is left to the legal heirs of the deceased. Obviously, these must have a link with the insured. Mainly family or personal, but it could also be professional or financial.

In the latter case, the definitions of kinship or other relationship are very relevant, with generic concepts gaining special importance such as spouse – usually, the person married to the insured at the time of his or her death -, children – which would include all eligible descendants to the inheritance – or heirs – those who have this condition at the moment the insured person dies.

We have put the insured in the center, but it could be the policyholder or any other person, so it should always be stated in the contract which is the person of reference as a result of which the kinship relations that determine who are the beneficiaries. If this figure has not been specified, it is usually considered that the right corresponds to the relatives of the policyholder or insurance contractor.

In the event that there are several beneficiaries, the percentage of compensation that will go to each of them must be detailed. In any case, it is recommended that at least one additional beneficiary is designated to the holder, in anticipation that the main beneficiary may have died before the insured person and the compensation remains in the air , with no one to be assigned.

Another possibility, although rare, is that at the time of the death of the insured person a beneficiary has not been designated or established any rule to determine it. In this type of case, it is usual for the capital to go back to the policyholder.

So far we have referred to the most serious case, that of death by accident. The situation is much simpler in cases of disability , since the beneficiary himself would be the insured (in the event that the damage suffered was compensable), receiving the corresponding benefits, depending on the loss and the evils caused by it, in order to help you in your new and complicated situation. 

How to change beneficiaries

If at any given time the person covered by accident insurance or whoever contracted it decided to change the name or name of the beneficiaries , they would have in their power to do so. The process is exactly the same as for the initial designation, with several ways to make this modification that are practically easy: rewriting the insurance contract, making a change in your will or sending a written statement to the insurance company. in which you communicate your desire to substitute the name of the beneficiary for that of another person.

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